An exercise in honesty - implicit bias and the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery

To help us all get to the heart of the problem of implicit bias - I want to do an exercise in honesty.

First - I want you to view the video of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man shot while jogging in GA by 2 white men who said they were concerned about burgleries in the area.

Think about how you are feeling. Is there any conflict? Is part of you thinking - well - they should not use force, but I understand why they were patrolling the neighborhood? And if he just stopped as these 2 men asked - then he wouldn't have been shot?   Be honest about what you think about this.

Next I want you to watch a recreation of the entire sequence but with the skin color of the participants - reversed.

Be honest

Now how do you feel about the shooting? Any different?  Probably. Most white people in America will have different emotional reactions to the first and 2nd video - even though - they are exactly the same - just the skin color of the participants reversed.

That different feeling you have - is your implicit bias.  We all have implicit biases.  It is why as a white person - the first one - I feel bad about the jogger, but I don't necessarily see the white guys as a threat.  In the 2nd one - it's a white guy - being stalked by 2 large armed black men and - I can see why the white guy has no intention of stopping to talk to these guys. This is the honesty about my instincts I was talking about. And I know I'm not alone.

Our implicit biases are our instincts. What we are taught to fear or embrace.  THIS is what needs to change. And the way we change that is by becoming aware of our implicit biases. That is the first step.

Ideally - we should get to a point where the two videos - look the same to us.
 But the only way to get there - is to acknowledge - that at the moment - they aren't.  We don't need to be ashamed about our implicit biases - we just need to acknowledge we have them.

To help us get there - I offer a free uncover and control your implicit bias online program. It includes links to implicit bias tests you can take. It's really eye opening. I encourage you to take the 2 hours it takes to do this course.

This is the work we need to do as a country. The reason the men who hunted and shot Arbery were not arrested or even charged is because of bias. The DA thought they had reasonable cause to hunt down and shot this innocent man. They didn't. And a quick look at the reversed video - makes that clear.

So - let's not tolerate this sort of biased justice anymore and hold ourselves to a better standard and create the sort of society where all members of society - live without fear.

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